hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002

in general, I would say the most powerful idea in
American politics today is that "coercive income
redistribution" is not only unwise, for incentive
reasons, but *evil*, fundamentally illegitimate, a
government theft of private property. While everyone
supports some degree of redistribution in practice
(many people want a flat tax, but nobody wants a head
tax!), no one seems willing to defend the principle of
income redistribution.

If you look at how the Bushies have quietly relaxed
efforts to crack down on tax havens (predictably, they
have publicized their actions as a "reform" to crack
down on tax havens), and the lack of outrage caused
by such actions, one gets the feeling that in the
current political climate it is considered more moral
for individuals to evade taxes than it is for
government to collect them.